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Caring for dreads in a hot climate (or, moisturizing Bali crispy-dreads!!!)

There are a couple of things you probably know about me right now:


1) I have dreads (duh!!!)

2) I have bleached dreads 

3) I’m a travel junkie

4) Right now I’m in Bali


So, what happens to my bleached, dehydrated, damaged dreads when I’m somewhere hot?  Think crispy.  Think very course rope that has been never used so it’s still prickly and stiff.

Yep.  My dreads.

I’m hoping that your dreads are not as bad as all that – but whatever the condition of your beloved dreadlocks it’s important to take some extra care of them in hot climates.


Here is my anti-crispy-dread formulaYou will need:

-       Pure, virgin, organic coconut oil (health food shop or Bintang supermarket in Bali)

-       Some moisturising shampoo

-       Some moisturising conditioner if you have older, mature dreads (skip this step if your dreads are still maturing)

-       An old or cheap towel (not the hotel towels!!!)

-       An old t-shirt or the ability to wander around naked for an hour or so


Ok, got all your stuff?  Lets go!


Smother your dreads in coconut oil.  It’s a messy messy job, and you will drip oil for an hour (hence the naked suggestion).  Make sure you get all your dreads covered.  I use an entire 500ml bottle.

Use all the excess drips to moisturise your body; it’s a great moisturizer.


Tie your dreads in a topknot to keep them out of your face.  You can wrap your dreads in cling wrap if you have some handy, or go sit in the sun which will ensure the oil really gets in (don’t get burnt if you’re nude…)


Leave oil in for about an hour, and then shampoo it out.  I use a moisturising shampoo instead of my usual Tea Tree shampoo (which is drying), as my aim is to add as much moisture as possible.


Optional – Condition the lengths of your dreads avoiding the roots by a few inches.  I do this only when I’m somewhere hot; I even have a leave-in conditioner for the ends of my dreads.  But DO NOT do this if your dreads are still maturing or your ends unravel.  If you think your dreads are solid enough for conditioner, a little wont hurt.

Another thing with conditioner – if you’ve just had maintenance don’t use it as it could cause the maintenance to come undone.


Did I mention this is a messy job?????


At the end of all this your dreads will probably feel fab!  But how to keep them hydrated while in the heat?  There are a couple of options…  You can repeat the above procedure once a week if you’re on holiday and/or you can cover your dreads with a scarf after you’ve hydrated them.  Simple.

hydrated dreads

I tend to hydrate my dreads, then cover just the top of my dreads/head with a scarf, so within about 2-3 days I start to get that crispy feeling back again unless I use a leave-in conditioner.


Also…  If you have blonde or bleached dreads you may find the oil will make you dreads half a shade darker for a while.  It fades – but I like it.

For this process you could also use mayonnaise but that’s potentially very very smelly.  You could also use egg yolks, but I’m thinking that a LOT of eggs would be required to moisturise long dreads.  So stick to the good old coconut oil – it’s cheaper and does the job.

If you’re on holidays, enjoy!!  If you live in a hot, tropical climate you should invite me for a loooong visit 🙂

If you have any other great hydrating tips for dreads please share in the comments section below.